American Patriotic 11

William Dean Norris

July 1, 1934 ~ June 22, 2020 (age 85)


In a long career in law enforcement and civil service, William D. Norris, Sr., was known to always do what was right, champion the underdog, and for asking: “How about those Cowboys?” a refence to his favorite football team.

Bill died suddenly at his Santa Fe home on Monday, June 22, 2020. He had spent the previous day, Father’s Day, enjoying his favorite food, laughing and celebrating his family. He was always a man with a smile and a joke. He was 85.

Bill was the fourth of six children born to Adna Chaffee “Steve” Norris and Lydia Margarete Edgerton Norris on July 1, 1934, in Lincoln Nebraska. His family relocated to New Mexico when he was a teenager. He graduated from Pojoaque High School.

He joined the United States Marine Corps on August 5, 1953, attended boot camp at Camp Pendleton, and was stationed in Japan. He received an honorable discharge on August 8, 1956. He was always mindful of the lessons he learned: semper fidelis.

Upon his discharge, Bill returned to northern New Mexico. On an outing with his brother Jim, he met his bride at the popular Adobe Club in Pojoaque. Irma Marquez was out with friends that night. He often said, with a twinkle in his eye and a giant grin, that they danced, she laid her head on his chest and the rest was history. Bill and Irma were married on January 10, 1959.

During the early years of their 61-year marriage, Bill worked for the State of New Mexico Highway Department on a land survey crew stationed in Socorro. When the commute became too much for the young Santa Fe family, Bill began his law enforcement career with the Santa Fe Police Department (SFPD). After two years at SFPD, he transferred to the Los Alamos Police Department (LAPD) where he held many hats: patrol officer, undercover/narcotics agent, sergeant and lieutenant. After 24 years at LAPD, Bill returned to the Santa Fe Police Department where he retired in 1984.

Always a man of adventure, Bill started a career at the United States Post Office where he could engage in his favorite past time: visiting with people. In 1996, he went on to be known as “Bailiff Billy” or the “Donut Dude” at a new role as a Santa Fe County Magistrate Court bailiff. In all his various careers Bill touched countless lives, always with a smile, a kind word, and focused on making a positive impact on his community.

While living in Los Alamos, Bill was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parrish. Upon their return to Santa Fe, Bill and Irma became members of Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community.  

In addition to his parents, Bill is pre-deceased by brothers: Lester Norris and Jim Norris; daughter, Gloria Allen; grandson, Nathan Lee Norris; brothers-in law: T.R. Hardin, Bill Banks, John Dunaway, Willie Marquez and Horacio Trujillo; sisters-in-law: Norma Norris, Adella Diaz, and Mary Lou Trujillo.

He is survived bay his bride – his loving wife, Irma Florence Marquez Norris; his children: Danny T. (Tina) Norris, Los Alamos; James (Lorella) Norris, Albuquerque; Jeanette (Dan) Machesic, Littleton, CO; Deborah A. Norris (Gary) Sparks, Santa Fe; and, William D. Norris, Jr., Santa Fe. His sisters: Margaret “Tiny” Hardin (Groves, TX); Mary Lou “Louie” Banks (Dallas); and, Martha Dunaway, (Roswell); son-in-law, Garry Allen (Los Alamos); 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren. 

A rosary will be recited by the Caballeros de Vargas on Tuesday, June 30, at 7 p.m. at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community. A mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m.   A burial will be held at Santa Fe National Cemetery at a later time.  Masks will be worn and social distancing will be practiced.

The family thanks: Dr. Fen Sartorious his friend and confidant of 30 years; the staff of Rodeo Family Medicine; Dr. Michael Wagner; Thomas Casias of Giving Home Health Care; and, his visiting nurse Yvonne Chavez. Your compassion and care for our husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend are greatly appreciated.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Dean Norris, please visit our floral store.


Recitation of the Rosary
June 30, 2020

7:00 PM
Santa Maria De La Paz Catholic Community
11 College Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Mass of Christian Burial
July 1, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Santa Maria De La Paz Catholic Community
11 College Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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